Flanders’ Marbella likes to keep up appearances. The fine was initially only going to set you back 250 euros, but the city fathers of the resort often frequented by holidaymakers with deep pockets decided to go for the top amount and impose a 350 euro fine. The fine applies to those in a naked torso or wearing swimwear beyond the beach and the seafront.
Alderman Wittesaele was keen to explain: “Having to watch tourists ambling round in a naked torso isn’t suitable in a quality resort. You shouldn’t be strolling through the commercial heart in your bikini or swimming trunks or be visiting a restaurant in such wear.”
Knokke-Heist police intend to clamp down on people flouting the rules. You can’t ban swimwear on pavement cafés on the seafront, but stickers are available to restaurants and shops eager to discourage this social ill.
Local restaurant manager Fabrice Vuillemin summed up local sentiment: “Often they are not wearing footwear or a T-shirt. I believe situations like this are bad for the city’s image. I wouldn’t stroll around on the Grand Place in Brussels in a naked torso. Why do they have to do it here?”